By Melissa Meador
HATLEY – Hatley slow-pitch coach Chris George has been waiting for his team’s hitting to come around.
It showed up in a big way on Tuesday night, with Hatley pounding out seven runs all in the third inning for a 7-2 win over Nettleton. The loss was the first of the season for Nettleton (5-1).
“We’ve struggled hitting this year, and then to get about 10 hits and seven runs all in one inning was nice,” George said. “We stayed on top of the ball and hit a lot of line drives and ground balls.”
Jabria Pounds’ solo home run in the top of the first got things started for Nettleton, but they stranded a pair in the inning after Hatley outfielder Courtney Roberts fired to second for a double play after a flyout.
A single from Mary Reeves was Hatley’s lone hit up to the third inning when they sent 12 to the plate.
Taylor Kennedy led off the inning with a double, followed by a single from leadoff hitter Abby Cantrell. An RBI single from Mollie Comer brought in the first run for Hatley (3-3), while Roberts sent one home on a double to the wall.
Mary Reeves scored Comer and Roberts with a two-run double, while Madison Seals and Kennedy each knocked in runs from the bottom of the lineup.
Nettleton tried to rally in both the sixth and seventh innings. In the sixth, Pounds and Taylor Smith got on base with singles, and one run came in when Harley Tucker reached on the lone error from the Hatley outfield before the next two batters were retired.
In the seventh, Kylie Leach and Lauren Hall had back-to-back hits with one out, but Hatley got a forceout at second and a pop up to shortstop Taylor Richey to end the game.
“We just came over here tonight with not very good attitudes and got beat by a better team tonight,” Nettleton coach Dana Rhea said. “We didn’t hit well and popped the ball up too much.”